Ian Patrick, FISM News
Amidst tensions between some Western nations including the United States and Eastern countries like China and Russia, world military spending has reached a new high.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released a new report in which it said military spending “increased by 3.7 percent in real terms in 2022, to reach a new high of $240 billion.” This marks the 8th consecutive year-by-year increase in military spending.
“The continuous rise in global military expenditure in recent years is a sign that we are living in an increasingly insecure world,” said Dr. Nan Tian, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program.
“States are bolstering military strength in response to a deteriorating security environment, which they do not foresee improving in the near future,” Tian added.
SIPRI notes that the biggest increase from the year was seen and Europe and was spurred by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Military spending in Western and Central Europe had surpassed levels of spending not seen since the end of the Cold War. The biggest spikes in spending were seen in Finland, Lithuania, Sweden, and Poland.
“The invasion of Ukraine had an immediate impact on military spending decisions in Central and Western Europe,” said Dr. Diego Lopes da Silva, another Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program.
“As a result, we can reasonably expect military expenditure in Central and Western Europe to keep rising in the years ahead,” he added.
Meanwhile, Russia increased its military spending by around 9.2% within the year totaling $86.4 billion. Ukraine increased its spending to $44.0 billion, which accounts for a whopping 640% increase. The report says this is “the highest single-year increase in a country’s military expenditure ever recorded in SIPRI data.”
Despite this impressive increase, the United States still leads the way in total military spending. At $877 billion, the U.S. accounted for 39% of total world military spending and spent more than the next 10 countries combined.
The next two highest spenders were China, which spent $292 billion on its military throughout the year, and Russia.
Dr. Tian noted that this increase “was largely accounted for by the unprecedented level of financial military aid it provided to Ukraine.” The U.S. gave around $19.9 billion to Ukraine in 2022.
“Given the scale of US spending, even a minor increase in percentage terms has a significant impact on the level of global military expenditure,” Tian said.